It has been known for sometime that images enhance social media the way the talkies transformed the film industry. It was a long time coming but visual design finally caught up to social media. Or did social media finally wake up to visual design? That does not matter. What does matter is that they finally got together and their marriage is one that was made in heaven, for the most part.

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

Social media has embraced the visual and has been benefitting from it ever since. Facebook posts that contain images get a greater percentage of Likes and comments.

Statistic Number 1: “…photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post.”
Statistic Number 2: “…photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post…”

Source: Hubspot Blog

Twitter page of @LamourSupreme

@LamourSupreme  twitter page © Lamour Supreme

@WildmanSteveBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

@WildmanBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

Every major social media tool has a visual component:
• Facebook bought Instagram
• Google owns YouTube
• Yahoo flaunts flickr

Pinterest is social media’s grand dame having risen to fame and fortune faster than any other unit of the social media toolkit to date. So far it seems to have no desire to take a mate. It is doing quite well without one.

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

Well, Twitter has joined in. Twitter has the ability to connect Instagram images through tweeted URLs. Even better, it has developed a method for some serious customization of its pages. Twitter now allows its members to say, ‘Hey, this page is mine and no one else’s. I am cool. I am serious. I am funny. I am creative. I am unique.’

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

It does not take very long to figure out how to create a completely customized page or one that is a combo of twitter template and original design. There are three components involved:
• the image
• the header
• the background

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

Twitter offers all kinds of templates, choices of color and pattern making for the background. In addition, one can take a custom image and tile or repeat it on the screen. In front of that, appears a vertical band containing one’s tweets and other information.

At the top of the band is the header. Twitter allows a very large image to be imported for this area but reduces it quite a bit when uploaded. In front of the header, appear one’s image, name, twitter name, a URL and mini-bio. A 180×180 facebook icon works fine for the image.

@TheEarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@The EarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

The results can be very creative and unique as witnessed by the samples displayed throughout this post. What do you think of them? I am eager to hear your thoughts:
• Do you think these samples are creative and unique?
• Do you think they are too much?
• Which one(s) do you like the most and the least?
• Do you have any other thoughts or comments about this post?

The Power of Images on Facebook
Five Reasons Why Twitter Background Is Really Important
Warning: Your Visual Message Is Just As Important
Visual Marketing Book
Twitter Headers and Covers







Social media is all about telling stories. Technology continues to make it easier, faster and more appealing to tell, share and even re-share our stories. It has also become about telling our stories in both words and pictures. The bluebird sings the social media theme song, at right, ‘Let Me Tell You a Story’. 

a blue bird sings the social media story

A bluebird singing the social media song, ‘Let Me Tell You A Story’ from an image @

Up until about a year ago, the story telling method was primarily verbal. Thanks to the meteoric rise in popularity of Pinterest, Instagram and other visual tools, it is clear that people want the option of using pictures, not just words, to tell and view things.

Look how dramatically facebook’s landscape has changed to include massive visual real estate. See the facebook timelines for business cover page at the end of this story.

The verbally based social media tools have known this for sometime. Google purchased YouTube. Yahoo purchased flickr. Facebook acquired Instagram and no one has been able to buy Pinterest.

It stands heads above most other social media, has done so in record time and is believed to be the first visual application to accomplish this. In addition, there is ground breaking news that the White House will start using Pinterest on December 17, 2012.

Both verbal and visual apps have unique characteristics and value. Amongst the most popular are: • facebook • twitter • LinkedIn • WordPress • Google • Pinterest • YouTube • Instagram

WordPress sharing bar

Sharing  is  a click away.

Users have their preferences and loyalties for story telling and sharing. There are formulas for sharing stories that vary with users. As one becomes more proficient in the use of social media, these formulas develop into personal systems.

There is no one system that is the answer to sharing for everyone. But certain apps and combinations of them work well. In time, we each discover what fits our style. WordPress makes this very easy with their sharing button bar shown at left.

For example, let’s say a story is written in Word. It then can become a blog post in WordPress with still images, video and even audio. Once the story is written, it needs to be shared. Certain venues have proven to be most successful at this. In fact, in order to make sharing a breeze, sharing buttons are installed right on blog post pages.

Why is sharing so important? Sharing attracts attention, engages an audience, allows one to stay connected manually and automatically, fosters the development of  trusted relationships and ultimately can increase business or establish a personal, professional presence.

One may not be looking to provide a service or even a product in the traditional sense of business. Providing and sharing information is the essence of social media. Just think about how much we know, how easily we can learn and share things compared to a generation ago. It is all due to social media allowing us to tell our stories.

Do you have a story that you would like to share, one that social media has enhanced or caused to go viral? Would you like to share or comment about this blog post? Your comments, suggestions and feed back are all part of the story. Please share with us in the comments area. Thank you from the author.

The Social Media Marketing Graphic Design page

facebook’s new timelines for business has given tremendous opportunities for visual real estate as shown in the example here. © and



Amy Porterfield’s FB Influence 2.0 Webinar

Bringing Your Marketing To Life Through Video by Dr. Marc and Charlie

Obama White House joins Pinterest

The Path to Better Marketing Results: Laura Patterson and Julie Schwartz

Just Add Data | The Path to Better Marketing Results – Laura Patterson and Julie Schwartz on Marketing Made Simple TV

Welcome to Marketing Made Simple TV in High Definition!

ITSMA research shows that marketing organizations that leverage data in their strategic and tactical decision making have a business performance advantage. Data-savvy organizations are better able to improve their average time to revenue and decrease their sales costs per order dollar. But what does it take to be data-savvy?

Join show host Jeff Ogden with Laura Patterson of VisionEdge Marketing ( and Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President, Research and Thought Leadership, ITSMA for a fascinating chat about the results of a study of B2B marketers.

You will gain insight into how you and your peers use marketing data, metrics, and analytics to inform marketing decisions, predict buyer behavior, improve marketing performance, and forecast trends.

Download the Revenue Performance Management – Demystified guide from Eloqua at or click the button in the show.

We thank Laura and Julie for appearing on this show, as well as sponsors such as Avitage, Digital Ethos, Communication Strategy Group and Eloqua. Marketing Made Simple TV premieres a new show every Thursday at noon ET/9am PT.

Love the show? Then we invite you to join the Marketing Made Simple TV Fan Club.

Beth Comstock, CMO of GE on Marketing Made Simple TV

In this episode of Marketing Made Simple TV, sponsored by Eloqua, Beth Comstock, SVP and CMO of GE, one of the world’s top companies shares key tips, including:

1) Why it’s important for marketers to step back and see the big picture

2) The importance of keeping an open mind and being receptive to fresh insights and ideas.

3) Why every marketers, big and small, needs to be everywhere and easily found. Why you don’t need the resources of GE to do great marketing.


We thank Beth for appearing on Marketing Made Simple TV, and that Eloqua for sponsoring this show and sharing a great content offer.  In addition, we thank other sponsors, such as Avitage (, DigitalEthos (, Communication Strategy Group ( and Watchitoo (

Marketing Made Simple TV is produced by Find New Customers ( It is Produced and Directed by Craig Yaris and our Editor is Kevin Ogden.

Part Three: ‘Television on the Internet’


The Marketing Made Simple TV logo © Jeff Ogden

This is the final part (for now) of this series, ‘Television on the Internet.’ If you get the feeling that this story is building up to something bigger and better, you are right. The next thing that happened must have used up more than one wish from the genie’s bottle.

In the meantime, another opportunity came my way. Jeff decided to do a show about the show. In other words, he wanted to let our viewers know what the show was all about. He was going to do it alone. But then the idea came to do a Q&A session where I would ask him questions. Did I mention I am NOT camera shy at all? So of course I was thrilled. He became the guest. I got to be the interviewer. Pinch me. Am I dreaming? It gets even better.

Suddenly, it seemed, Jeff announced that he was going on vacation and would not be back in time for the taping of our next show. It was to feature one of our blog writers; we are slowly going down the list. Since I know him well, Craig Yaris, our redeemed attorney, as he likes to call himself, was someone that I knew I would really enjoy interviewing. I have learned to ask the guest to send me a list of questions with an overall topic. This keeps us somewhat focused since we have a limited amount of time for each interview.

The beauty of the taping is that both host and guest get to sit in front of their own computers. They can still be in their pajamas as long as each looks properly dressed and photogenic from the waist up. It is not only the answer for me to a 40 plus year dream. It is also a technological wonder that makes doing this possible, probable and profitable.

image-Craig Yaris

Craig Yaris, redeemed attorney and social media marvel

So there it is in a nutshell. The newest technology, ‘Television on the Internet’, fits right in with the sky rocketing popularity of video. With our diminishing attention spans, we have the patience usually for a few minutes of sitting still so we do attempt to keep the show to less than fifteen minutes. It may seem like a lot to ask of someone to watch but when Craig and I got to talking, we easily reached the half hour mark.

The first goal of our show is to be entertaining and we certainly entertained each other. Secondly, the guests provide valuable information. I could have picked Craig’s brain for another hour or two easily. The third goal of our show is that we ‘partner’ with our guests to help promote them, their work and their accomplishments. I have not had a chance yet to find out how many offers to teach classes and instruct individuals Craig has gotten since the show appeared on July 5th.

So be sure to tune in and turn on every Thursday at noon EDT, 9 AM, PT. In case you miss the initial airing, you can catch the show on our site 24/7 afterwards. You can also view it on YouTube and Vimeo. Who knows, you could end up becoming a guest and another budding ‘Television on the Internet’ star.

Marketing Made Simple TV, guest Craig Yaris
Jeff Ogden, host as guest and Alison Gilbert, guest host do a Q&A Show
Jeff Ogden talks about the Show
Television on the Internet
The Charrette Chronicles
Mad Marketing TV



Will Airtime Re-Humanize the Internet?

The internet has left some parts of humanity more isolated from one another while simultaneously connecting them in ways we never had in the not-so-distant past. While it has certainly done far more good on the connection end than it has done bad on the isolation side, there are still many things that we are losing in communications with one another when we converse, relate, and communicate through social channels that are limited to text based chat or platforms. Many people who communicate for fun, as well as many others who use internet communication options for business are simply not finding themselves satisfied with the amount of human interaction in their digital communications.

In the Beginning

Long ago now when the internet arrived for public use, IRC, or internet relay chat was the usual medium of choice for those who desired interaction with others in the digital world. It was very basic, but users were able to chat, trade files through DCC sends and connects, and keep in touch, in real time, with users from all over the world. What an amazing experience it was. It still is, however, many vital elements important to human communications are lost in these digital transmissions.

  • Gestures
  • Body Language
  • “Eye- to – Eye” Contact
  • Attitude
  • Character

In general face-to-face conversations with the people in our lives we can see all of these things. Dig a little deeper into the real person they are, grow to understand their gestures and body language to gauge their reaction to the world-at-large.

Now and In the Future

Airtime’s founders, who also met over an IRC in those early days of the Internet, have created an incredible alternative to those stale, distant, disconnected textual conversations online. One-click Facebook integration on Airtime means there is nothing more than the one required click to get users started. Users need only make sure they have a web cam connected to get started.

With Airtime, users are both the audience and the performer. You can chat up your Facebook friends, or pair up with a stranger by selecting filters such as nearby in your city, common friends, or even friends of friends.

Airtime allows users to video chat with one another or drag their own videos in from sites around the web like YouTube, and watch them together. Rumor has it that Airtime is also considering incorporating synchronous music listening and a platform for group chat with mobile apps on the way ‘very soon’ according to Airtime developers.

Although there are plenty of other ways to communicate through video, most of those platforms are tethered to desktop applications such as Skype, that still lacks some of the sharing options Airtime provides. Inspired by his own plight during a distance separation from his own girlfriend,  Sean Parker, co-founder of Airtime, decided it felt pretty distant to have to share a video with his girlfriend and then sit back, wait, and listen to or watch her reaction to it. He wanted them both to be able to watch it together, enjoy it simultaneous. A real-time human connection on a digital format.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education ( Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


What is Tout?

We have had many Pinterest and Instagram-a-holics since those two stormed their way onto the social scene. However, short of YouTube we have had very few platforms that have provided us with a quick and easy method for uploading videos. Until now. Tout is a social media platform that enables users to take their own videos, up to 15 seconds long, and shoot them to their Facebook, Twitter, email contacts, or even SMS. With an engaging reply feature, Tout users can enjoy “Tout conversations.”

Combining social networking with the true power that video has to increase conversation and engagement can be a powerful force to be reckoned with when it comes to getting a social buzz going.

Tout Experiences

  • Some brands like USA Today, Access Hollywood, The Weather Channel, and CBS are already using Tout to interact directly with their audiences resulting in comments, questions and conversations that help extend the reach of their presence on the internet as well as traditional television.
  • Users can view video updates from their friends as well as some big celebrities or record their own Touts that can be shared with both family and friends. With real-time updates, high-quality video and “video everywhere” features, Touters can stay in-the-know about the events in the lives of those who are important to them.
  • Many celebrities such as Katie Couric, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Greta van Susteren, and Jeff Probst have begun using Tout to get connected personally with their fans. Big name stars like Stephen Spielberg and Madonna have actually answered Touted questions from fans from the red carpet.

Tout is beginning to change how people interact on social platforms. With more direct interaction in real-time, distance and disconnections are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Social sharing with a more vibrant experience in sound, motion and high-definition color and quality means that for many in the business of social, those things that cannot be shared fully in a still photo have become more up-close-and-personal in rich video media.

Get Touting!

Anyone can sign up at and get started creating their own 15 second videos. Do not underestimate how powerful a message you can convey in those few short moments. Users can log in through the site, integrate with their Facebook account, or head to the Android store to grab the app. Check out this fantastic introduction video for Tout.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education ( Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2012 or Where Did All The Exhibits Go?

On June 5, 2012, I attended day one of BlogWorld and New Media Expo at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.  During the day, I was treated to some amazing sessions, covering social media and blogging.  But, what I didn’t get to experience was the “Expo” part of the New Media Expo.  That’s right, there was no expo on the first day.  You could see some of the exhibitors setting up their booths for the next two days (BlogWorld, for those that don’t know is the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for bloggers, podcasters, web tv content creators and social media innovators).  Yes, it is a trade show with no trade show.  Advice for next year?  Go on day two and three!

But, what I did get were some amazing seminars covering the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media, The 6 Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy, and 12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger.  Let’s break down the factics learned throughout the day.

7 Deadly Sins of Social

Scott Stratten, from Unmarketing outlined his seven deadly sins of social media.  They are:

  1. Gluttony – Don’t automate.  Don’t be everywhere, just be great where you are;
  2. Apathy – Social media’s biggest threat.  It is passion that makes Pinterest great;
  3. Pride – Don’t ignore something just because you don’t like it.  Learn it if you hate it!;
  4. Sloth – Invest the time, but don’t create accounts if you have no intention of being “there”;
  5. Greed – There are no shortcuts to being great in social.  It is not a numbers game;
  6. Lust – Be awesome when the *&^%$ hits the fan!;
  7. Envy – Don’t do things just because everyone else does it;

And the bonus:

  1. Wrath – Power is in the conversation and the community.  The power is in the people.

So, what does this all mean?  It means that social media is all about the conversation and the engagement.  Have passion in what you offer and in your on-line presence.  Invest the time, and it will pay off.  And, BE AWESOME!

6 Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy

Dave Fleet, VP of Digital for Edelman, a global public relations firm offers the answer to the question, “What is social going to drive for our organization?”  And he answered it with his Six Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy.

  1. Social Business – Step away from the new and shiny.  Buzz is not a reason to be on any specific tool.  Ask, what are the business objectives, and know when to step away.
  2. Objectives – Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound objectives.  In other words, be S.M.A.R.T.
  3. Measurement – Measure against your objectives.  Don’t focus on the wrong things, and don’t be unrealistic with your numbers.
  4. Integration – Forget about the “silos”.  Social media needs to be owned by the entire organization, not just one department.
  5. Content – Content is king.  It should improve your reputation and trust within the community.
  6. Community Management – Engage like a human.

The result?  Look at social media the way you would any other aspect of your business.  Embrace it, but don’t let your objectives become unreasonable.

12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger

This was a great presentation by Jay Baer, from Convince and Convert, and started with the premise that, “we are all teachers and we are all students.”

So, what are the 12 imperatives?

  1. Be patient.  Give yourself permission to take time to be successful.  It will be measured in years, not months.  (It took him 3 years to make his first nickel from his blog).
  2. Be specific.  What is your blog about?  Blogging is the most competitive form of communication.  You are better off being the favorite blog to fewer people than being the “meh” blog to lots of people.
  3. Be consistent.  Don’t value inspiration over perspiration.  You always have something to say.
  4. Embrace variety.  Don’t become forumalic.  If it’s boring to write, it’s boring to read.
  5. By a “youtility”.  How can you help people?  Be genuinely useful.
  6. Find an anchor.  This is the type of post that you can go back to again and again.  It is something special to put on the editorial calendar every week.
  7. Have a call to action.  Traffic has little inherent value.  It is about behavior.
  8. Cultivate community.  Community drives repeat visits and sharing behaviors.  To drive community, use WFACT – Welcome, Facilitate, Answer, Connect, Thank.
  9. Be findable.  The most important reader you have is Google.
  10. Keep score.  What is your real goal?  Measure behavior, not numbers.
  11. Embrace extensibility.  Your blog is your trampoline.  It is your central location but it also needs to live elsewhere (LinkedIn, Scribd, YouTube, etc.)
  12. Be shareable.  And share down, not just up.  Share content created by those below you, not just the experts.

And the bonus?  Write good headlines.  The second bonus?  Check out Jay’s slides:

View more presentations from Jay Baer


Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.


Mac McConnell on Marketing Made Simple TV

In this episode of Marketing Made Simple TV, Mac McConnell of Bluebird Strategies sits down with show host Jeff Ogden of Find New Customers to discuss Filling the Sales Funnel, Finding the Bottlenecks, Crafting content, Lead Nurturing and more

About Mac McConnell

Mac McConnell has an established track record of developing high-impact lead generation programs that are proven to drive leads, pipeline and revenue. As a member of top producing sales teams at both Deutsche Bank Alex Brown and JPMorgan Chase, McConnell applied digital marketing tactics to discover new relationships that had traditionally been overlooked. As an inaugural member of Sun Microsystems small and midsize business initiative, he developed dynamic programs that moved contacts through the buying cycle using an ever-changing mix of content syndication, social media, web traffic, nurture programs and telemarketing. As a partner in an advanced lead generation firm, McConnell has grown the firm by more than 100% and is active with all clients to make sure their lead generation programs are well designed and executed.

The Value of Video: For Education and Self-Promotion

Video is a great learning tool. YouTube ranks #3 behind Alexa ranked #1 Google as the place to look up ‘how to’ information. But there is another value to video that had not occurred to me until I had the opportunity to participate in the making of a Web TV series, Marketing Made Simple.

This opportunity arose thanks to my Digital Brand Marketing colleague, Jeff Ogden, owner of Find New Customers, the host-interviewer of this weekly Web TV show. I am not even sure exactly how it all came about. But it was decided that a ‘real person’ would make a much more pleasing Intro and Closing for this new show than the kind of graphics and music used on a previous show.

Alison Gilbert introduces Marketing Made Simple in front of Main Street.

Alison Gilbert introduces the ‘Marketing Made Simple’ Web TV show in front of ‘Main Street’.

So there I was, with several outfits in hand along with the general idea for a script, off to the green screen-shooting studio to make the Intro and Closing. I am no newcomer to media or public speaking. I have appeared on TV, both nationally and locally. I have been interviewed dozens of times on the radio. I’ve spent time in the voice-acting studio  and am the ‘star’ in my own business videos. I have taught courses and lectured in-person more times than I can remember. But this was different.

I was representing something other than my own craft and myself. I was there to be the ‘real person’ introducing and closing for a Web TV show on behalf of the host, Jeff Ogden and for each of his weekly professional marketing guests. I had a responsibility to the show itself and to everyone else involved to maintain a standard of professionalism and excellence.

That made me a little bit nervous. But as many people know, I adore being in front of the camera. The videographer, Robert Kothe, was terrific. He recorded me on ‘green screen’ in a variety of outfits and semi-impromptu monologue. I had the ‘bones’ of a script to use. Certain key word phrases were placed on the teleprompter but  beyond that, I was able to add my own distinct personality to the job.

Within a two-hour period, we had done sufficient takes in three different sets of clothes and a variety of Intros and Closing to call it a day. Then the fun really began. The videographer had a template to use for the background. But the beauty of ‘green screen’ is that one can do just about anything behind the performer. I could have been flying in the clouds, standing in front of a great battle, or anything one could imagine.

Fortunately, my husband, Phil Jacobs, who is both a professional illustrator and photographer, had some great scenes that fit perfectly behind my ‘performance’. I was so excited to see not only how my acting had turned out but also what outfit and background would be used together. It was truly a media adventure.


The rest is history. The first show aired this past Thursday at noon, with host Jeff Ogden, his guest, Mitch Joel and me, the Marketing Bytes Maven, doing the ‘Intro’ and ‘Closing’ in front of the illustration of Main Street that has come to be synonymous with my Marketing Main Street services for marketing local business.

As Mitch pointed out in his interview, in-person speaking requires some very special skills. While everyone else probably took note of his marketing expertise, I listened intently to every point he made about speaking before an audience rehearsing in my mind for my next opportunity to use my acting skills to help educate others and promote myself as well.


Alison Gilbert is a Digital Age Journalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBMEi, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz  located on Long Island, New York.
This boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by combining the best of traditional advertising with the latest online marketing technology. Contact Alison Gilbert at or call 516-665-9034 EDT/NY/US. MARKETING BYTES serves local/small businesses virtually everywhere.


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